Designing Your Front Entry

Pulling up to your home, you look at the front entry and a smile creeps onto your face.  Why?  Because it just feels right – it’s your home and you LOVE it!

So how do we create that feeling for you?  There are three basic steps to designing that “WOW factor” space that will make you want to come home, and which invites others into your home!  It starts with the emotion you want to evoke; next is the approach; and last is your style.

Emotion: This is the most difficult and obscure step to pin down, but the most important.  Think about what and how you want to feel as you look at your front entry…. then also consider how you want your guests to feel.  Is the feeling you’re thinking of relaxed? Inspired? Amazed, welcomed, impressed? I have a country house in the woods with a big front porch with rocking chairs and every time I pull up, I get that feeling of relaxing while sipping coffee on the front porch that instantly puts my mind at ease! When you come to terms with how you want to feel, as well as what feelings you want to evoke in your guests, then you are ready to move onto the next stage.

The approach is our next element to design and this covers everything from the walkway and landscaping to the covered porch at the door.  If you are trying to get a formal feel, then use more elegant landscaping – patterns to the plantings, a well-manicured lawn, balanced lighting, a decorative walkway, and elegant steps with a porch.  The front overhang can be trimmed simply, or you can elect for an ornate look with extra crown molding trim.

The roof over your entry is essential to protect you and the front door from the weather. This can be as simple as a small covered stoop or it could be a large deck across the front of the house! Consider what type of door you’d like as well – solid wood may give you a feeling of protection; or perhaps you would prefer glass, which is more welcoming. Maybe you’d even like a combination of the two!

Consider also: When you step inside, what do you want to see and how do you want to feel? Do you want open views to the great room and kitchen? Is this a two-story entry? Is there a staircase leading your eyes upward? This will all affect the approach!

Now the last step to the perfect entry design is style.  To let your own style shine through, you need to make it pop!  This can be done with materials, layout, trim, columns, light fixtures, ceiling trims, railing designs, and flooring patterns to create that sense of your own style. Do you have a favorite bench on the porch or inside the entry hall, perhaps covered with colorful throw pillows?  Show off a mirror, piece of furniture, throw rug, or anything else that speaks to your style and emotions.

As an example, I worked on a house design where the client had been to the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston and loved the railing detail on the steps. We recreated that railing on a sweeping staircase in the entry. Now, every time the owner walks upstairs, they have an emotional association with luxury and relaxation. How we feel is what really transforms a house into a home!  Get started on your dream entry design now with the emotion, approach, and style that you will love to see every day!

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